Nine times out of ten you’ll hear the term “copy editing” used when in fact it’s line editing. As copywriters, editing comes naturally, and it’s one of our favorite secret-menu services we offer clients.
Both copy editing and line editing are terms thrown around a lot in the world of manuscripts, so unless you’re in the industry of manuscript writing, you probably didn’t even know there’s a difference between the two!
Does it really matter if you know the difference between the two types of editing? In our opinion, only if you’re about to invest in the service.
If you pay to have your website copy-edited (aka a copy audit), you’re getting the best of both worlds.
In this post, we’ll share why (in our opinion) one type of editing is more valuable than the other and how robots can do some of the dirty work for you.
Copy editing is where AI can come into play. Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Grammarly all offer copy editing for free to users. It’s a check of spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, capitalization, hyphenation, and other “small” fixes.
While these fixes may be “small,” they are so crucial in your content. If you write something with a lot of these small mistakes, you’ll quickly lose credibility—especially if they happen consistently in your content.
Copy editing your work is tricky. The more you write your content, the more mistakes you’ll overlook. And we hate to break it to you, but AI overlooks a lot too. Sometimes having a second set of human eyes to review your content is what you need before launching something to your followers.
Pro tip: If you’re able to, invest in Grammarly Pro. It’s about $140 a year, but it’s worth the investment. There’s a Chrome extension to install, so no matter where you’re writing your content online, Grammarly will jump into the text and offer edits.*
*This isn’t a sponsored post, but we wish it were so we could get paid for hyping up a product we actually like. We can dream!
While copy editing combs through the details, line editing offers a holistic edit to your content. Here are just some of the topics a line editor will look for:
Overused words or repetitive sentences
Content that isn’t easy to read or doesn’t flow
How to make content more concise
Tone shifts or boring language
Ideas for more interesting word choice
Line editing takes a look at the content as a complete piece—the language, if your personality is coming through, if you’re speaking to your target audience, if you’re offering clear next steps for the reader, and much more.
When we edit content for clients, we offer both copy and line editing at once. While Grammarly can clean up most of the necessary copy edits, AI is never perfect. Robots can’t check for personality, they can’t tell if your content is actually interesting, and they certainly can’t check to see if your content will resonate with your ideal client.
If you want to put your writing and editing skills to the test, try writing a blog. Our tips for writing the perfect blog post will help get you started.
If you’re looking for a second set of human eyes on your content before you share it with your audience, let’s get to work!